While winter time on the farm may evoke visions of empty fields, frosty mornings and silence, I have found my first winter at Bounty to be quite meditative and reflective for just those reasons. Winter’s stillness and briskness brings me to reflect on our bustling summer days, reminding me to soak in the change of pace and appreciate what the winter months offer.
And it’s not too quiet! Our volunteer days on Wednesdays to harvest for our Farmacy and Saturday work projects bring a whole other warmth to the farm. Our cover crop offers a picturesque blanket of green that’s working to keep our soils protected and nitrogen-prepared for the upcoming growing season. Our brassicae crops (cabbage, broccoli, kale, romanesco cauliflower, kohlrabi) thrive in this weather whereby frosty temperatures push them to produce more sugar for plant cell protection (and a sweeter product for our palettes!).
Speaking of frosty, the farm saw hail and massive amounts of rainfall that although can inconvenience us, remind us how water flows on the farm and whether our soil building efforts are improving the soil structure. We’re also reminded of the reserves of water being replenished around California that’s setting us up for the warmer months ahead. I hear William Bell’s famous “You don’t miss your water ‘til your well runs dry” lyric on repeat in my head.
Lastly, but by far not the least, we have begun seeding in the greenhouse for spring farm production and our upcoming plant sale! During the storm last week, I once again found reconciliation with winter as I contentedly went along seeding our solanum plants (tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, eggplant). There’s nothing quite like sowing new life in the midst of a hail storm to appreciate both the present winter and future spring.
Want to get involved with our work this winter? Join us Wednesdays or Saturdays, 9am-12pm, for weeding, mulching, seeding, and other crucial work before spring comes!